Last week, I created the Fire the Desire 3-Day Challenge form (did you download it on Tuesday?) in response to a request from one of my coaching clients that we “shake things up” to stimulate a change. I wanted to partner along with her, so I decided to take the challenge myself. Silly me. The first day I had stars in every box. WOOT! WOOT! YAY! I had an early breakfast 0 to 5 on the second day…off to a rousing start. Then, my daughter, recently returned from her first international trip, announced her desire to go to IN-n-Out. Hubby, Michaela and I headed off and, since I wasn’t hungry, I just got a diet soda. How about that! I would guess that was about when pride set in.
Next, I persevered through some tennis drills with hubby, still sustained by my breakfast. But after that? Well, I have no idea what happened. Something…I think when I got home I started “grazing” maybe because nothing sounded really good even though I was hungry (or was I?). So suddenly, my Fire the Desire 3-Day Challenge form had a big circle for one of the hours instead of a star! GASP!!!
THIS WAS NOT OK WITH ME! (Perfectionism rears its ugly head…it is not our friend!)
So, I did the mature thing…I crumpled it up (a tantrum, basically) and threw it in the trash. I printed out another chart so I could pretend to be perfect after all.
Please tell me you won’t do this (or haven’t done this)!!!
And if you aren’t doing the challenge, I know you can relate even generally to applying yourself to eating 0 to 5, right?
Here is what I propose: If we have an hour when we feel hard pressed to put our star or favorite mark in the box (or experience victory if you aren’t doing the challenge with the chart), let’s circle the box, sure. Then, in the space below the grid, jot down an observation and correction. Prayerfully answer these questions: What happened to cause me to eat outside of my boundaries of 0 and 5 (or to drink sweetened beverages or not to have time praising the Lord at all during the day, etc)? What can I do differently next time so I won’t give in to whatever it was that got me during this hour?
Once you have answered these questions, you can consider the hour that is circled on your grid (or the choice you made to “mess up”) REDEEMED! You have allowed God to take your misstep (or, if you want to be really hard on yourself, a “failure”) and turn it into a victory where you have learned something to do differently when a similar situation presents itself the next time. THAT is a victory! This is what the Hallidays mean when they say failure can be a teacher, a coach, rather than your undertaker.
So, don’t do what I did and act like none of those starred boxes matter just because one of them didn’t have a star in it. Don’t assume that all the time you have made choices to honor God and to stay within your boundaries don’t matter just because of a mess up! Instead, observe and correct and praise God for the opportunity to learn.
In fact, let’s celebrate those boxes with stars in them. Let’s rejoice over the many moments we have made God-honoring choices!
But, of course, let’s have godly balance here…if you have more boxes that are circled than you do ones with stars in them, there is a problem–you may not be committed. But one hour out of 24–an hour where you were willing to observe (confess) and correct (repent) and make a plan for next time doesn’t a rotten day make!
How About You?
How are you doing on the challenge? Sure, you can start over from scratch if you want to, but why not observe and correct and press on now? This is the way life is. It is rarely perfect!